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The carpool and two lanes were closed for the Caltrans project.
Authorities said the driver ignored the traffic cones when it slammed into the back of the water tanker, killing the driver of the vehicle.
No one else was injured in the accident.
All lanes of the freeway were shut down immediately after the crash.
Crews worked quickly to get the accident cleaned up, and all lanes were reopened just after 6:30 a.m.